Have Nadal and Djokovic had greater competition in slams than Federer?

Have Nadal and Djokovic has greater slam competition than Federer?


  • Total voters
    119

mike danny

Bionic Poster
He still can improve by training more defensive skills, focused too much on attacking. I felt he stopped developing after 2006 and 2017, its one of the things he should have done to become the best by far. The competition overtook him by 2011. He needs better defense as his serve and ground strokes are good enough to hurt anyone. Many points he needs to slide and push.
He did improve though. Do you really think he would have beaten Djokovic in 2011 and had the season he had in 2012 is he hadn't?

The competition overtook him in 2011 because it was really tough. It wasn't 30 year old Federer against Tsitsipas and Medvedev. It was 30 year old Federer against peak Djokodal.
 

RelentlessAttack

Hall of Fame
The problem with the poll aside from being bait is that they didn’t face the same comp - Nadal straddled generations at his best and had to face prime fed and then prime Nole. Peak Nole and peak Fed never had to go head to head with each other, and each got longer stretches of weak years before and after the emergence and decline of Nadal. Djokovic’s weak era has stretched on longer than Fed’s now.
 
Average opponent rank on slams:
Federer 30
Nadal 29
Djokovic 27

Average opponent Elo rating on slams:
Federer: 2012
Nadal: 2014
Djokovic: 2030

Based on this data, Federer had it the easiest so far, Nadal a tiny bit harder and Djokovic slightly harder then both.
But given the current state of competition in men tennis, it will probably end with Nadal the easiest, Federer a bit harder and Djokovic another bit harder opposition.

Source: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistics.com/headsToHeads (Select Big 3, Filter by slams, check 'stats vs all', expand 'Opponent & Time')
 

RS

Legend
Average opponent rank on slams:
Federer 30
Nadal 29
Djokovic 27

Average opponent Elo rating on slams:
Federer: 2012
Nadal: 2014
Djokovic: 2030

Based on this data, Federer had it the easiest so far, Nadal a tiny bit harder and Djokovic slightly harder then both.
But given the current state of competition in men tennis, it will probably end with Nadal the easiest, Federer a bit harder and Djokovic another bit harder opposition.

Source: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistics.com/headsToHeads (Select Big 3, Filter by slams, check 'stats vs all', expand 'Opponent & Time')
Federer fans say the ELO is bad because Murray has a higher one than Sampras at peak level.
 

see_ping

New User
Normally the guys you grow up with face the same challenges as well as advantages as you do, so if you are more talented you will win.
How many times did Agassi stop Pete from winning Wimbledon or the US open ? How many times could Nadal stop Djokovic from wining the Aus open? How many times could Djokovic stop Nadal from winning the French Open ?

All this is either 0 or 1 time... negligible.
So there is no way that Safin/Roddick could have stopped Federer more than on 1 occasion at max. even if they were a bit more talented.

Main challenge comes from people who are 5-6 years below you.

In this common sense says that Federer has 2 ATGs who were 5-6 years below him and 1 of those ATGs happened to be a teenage prodigy which means he faced him at a high level earlier than required on Clay, that ruined his clay chances too.

In the case of Nadal-Djokvic they have Thiem-Dimitrov below them at 5-6 years younger.

That tells us that Novak had it the easiest.
This is what I think too. In the past the older ATG usually has much worse record vs. his younger ATG counter parts because that is just how it usually works. I'm trying to come up with an example from the past, but don't want to do too much research on this. Perhaps Connors vs McEnroe might fit the bill (14-20)? The younger players after Nadal and Djokovic should be beating them now, but they aren't. You say can it's because both are that great and I'd say it's true, but I believe there's something else going on here. I can't be sure what the reason is though, although myself being born in the 80s feel like youngsters nowadays are really quite different in their brought up and way of thinking. Toni Nadal has a lot to say on this. What's going now lends a small degree of support to the idea that eras cannot be compared. Would Djokovic have done as well as Federer did from 04-07 if he had been in his position? Hard to say for sure.
 

Sunny014

Professional
This is what I think too. In the past the older ATG usually has much worse record vs. his younger ATG counter parts because that is just how it usually works. I'm trying to come up with an example from the past, but don't want to do too much research on this. Perhaps Connors vs McEnroe might fit the bill (14-20)? The younger players after Nadal and Djokovic should be beating them now, but they aren't. You say can it's because both are that great and I'd say it's true, but I believe there's something else going on here. I can't be sure what the reason is though, although myself being born in the 80s feel like youngsters nowadays are really quite different in their brought up and way of thinking. Toni Nadal has a lot to say on this. What's going now lends a small degree of support to the idea that eras cannot be compared. Would Djokovic have done as well as Federer did from 04-07 if he had been in his position? Hard to say for sure.
If you place Djokovic and Nadal back by 6 years with Federer then this would benefit Nadal but not Djokovic.
Novak would struggle a lot against Federer even on HCs because even Safin would be there too, things won't end up well.

But Rafael Nadal won't struggle enough, you need to teleport all 3 of them at least 10-12 years back and put them with Sampras, then there is a chance of the fast courts and smaller raquets creating troubles for Nadal outside clay..... big troubles.

Federer won't be affected and possible Novak might also not be as much as Nadal would.
 

Sunny014

Professional
This is what I think too. In the past the older ATG usually has much worse record vs. his younger ATG counter parts because that is just how it usually works. I'm trying to come up with an example from the past, but don't want to do too much research on this. Perhaps Connors vs McEnroe might fit the bill (14-20)? The younger players after Nadal and Djokovic should be beating them now, but they aren't. You say can it's because both are that great and I'd say it's true, but I believe there's something else going on here. I can't be sure what the reason is though, although myself being born in the 80s feel like youngsters nowadays are really quite different in their brought up and way of thinking. Toni Nadal has a lot to say on this. What's going now lends a small degree of support to the idea that eras cannot be compared. Would Djokovic have done as well as Federer did from 04-07 if he had been in his position? Hard to say for sure.
While this point that I am about to make has no connection with Sports, it has in connection with Bollywood (Hindi Cinema/Movies industry from India).

A weak era trend has been seen in Bollywood too ( Cc @Sunny Ali Sir ).


Decade of youngsters from the 70s ruled the 80s in Bollywood with a star called Amitabh Bachchan being the lead star, likewise young stars from 80s also had a good run in the 90s like Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor etc etc, then came young stars (3 Khans) from 90s who ruled 00s and are ruling Bollywood till date in 2021. This happened because young stars from 00s were untalented, all the scripts which were supposed to go them in their second decade when they were supposed to rule went to the gen before i.e 90s guys in the 2010s. Guys like Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and even Akshay Kumar have delivered massive hits in Bollywood in their 3rd decade while the generation below them struggled.

So this trend has been seen in hindi film industry as well, so why this happens we need to analyze, it is a very interesting thought really.
 
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airchallenge2

Professional
Declining relative to his own level. He might not be declined compared to, say, Lendl at Wimbledon, but compared to Fed from 2003-2009? Absolutely.
I think it's all relative: Novak could easily have lost one of those 2 points (the probability is there) and we would have a very different perspective on Roger's career.
 

Sunny014

Professional
Honest question: are Safin and Hewitt considered ATGs?
In terms of ability Safin is.
Why not ?

Just because some guys win more slams doesn't mean they are Gods.

Across social media many young users believe that Murray would be wining 8-10+ slams in other era if he were playing, this is a laughable statement, I don't think he would win more than 3 slams in any era no matter where he played, Safin also if he was in modern era the murray argument is applicable, he would still have 2 slams on HCs which Stan won or Cilic won or Martin Del Potro .... always would have his chances ... like that USO 2020 which he might play while Fedal won't

So these sorts of arguments just to make 00s looks weak is silly, Safin at his best would take 3-4 slams in any era, just more, he was unlucky to be sandwiched in the 00s between the transition of courts... from 90s to modern day ones.... very nasty era to be born in.
 

Crazy Finn

Professional
Average opponent rank on slams:
Federer 30
Nadal 29
Djokovic 27

Average opponent Elo rating on slams:
Federer: 2012
Nadal: 2014
Djokovic: 2030

Based on this data, Federer had it the easiest so far, Nadal a tiny bit harder and Djokovic slightly harder then both.
But given the current state of competition in men tennis, it will probably end with Nadal the easiest, Federer a bit harder and Djokovic another bit harder opposition.

Source: https://www.ultimatetennisstatistics.com/headsToHeads (Select Big 3, Filter by slams, check 'stats vs all', expand 'Opponent & Time')
Federer fans say the ELO is bad because Murray has a higher one than Sampras at peak level.
Which proves exactly what the creator of tennis ELO states:

Once we attach a single peak rating to every player, it’s only natural to start comparing across eras. While it’s always fun to do so, I’m not sure any rating system allows for useful cross-era comparisons in tennis. Elo doesn’t, either.

What you can do with Elo is compare how each player fared against her competition.

Of course, it's much easier to do the Lew thing - like this guy did and just come up with stuff from a tennis stats website. It's interesting, it's there, not sure it really means much.
 

Sunny014

Professional
It is very wrong to born in an era where you grow up playing in certain conditions and after you turned pro have that taken away from you.

Sampras and co grew up in the 80s in similar conditions of the 90s and played on it throughout their life, it was only until 30 that it was taken away from him and he retired when the Grass slowed down.
Safin-federer and co grew up in the 90s and had that taken away as soon as they turned pro and courts were being slowed, surfaces like rebound ace replaced, USOs slowed down and what not.
Nadal-Djokovic on the other hand grew up in the 00s and till now they are playing on the same courts, honing their skills every year, getting better, they are also assisted by a weak set of millennial instagram punks who don't have the hunger to work on their stamina and skills, most of them are mental midgets because thats what social media does to you, ruins your life, it is better to grow up on a farm till your are an adult than be born with a stupid smartphone/tab in your hand when you are like 4 years old.....
 

Sunny014

Professional
Yes, they definitely have, Federer won most of his slams during a power vacuum
Why wasn't Pete there to exploit the vacuum ?
Did the vacuum suck Pete and throw him into oblivion ?
Even Agassi never won slams after 32, why ?
Even Nadal despite winning slams on clay from 05 could not win on HCs till 2009 despite physically being up for it.

I guess the vacuum was too strong ? hehe
 
Which proves exactly what the creator of tennis ELO states...
But Nadal and Djokovic Era overlap 95% and Federer Era overlap Nadal/Djokovic Era 80% at least.
Also, the above figures are not 'peak' figures, but average Elo ratings across all opponents they faced on GSs during their careers. Given that careers overlapp significantly, the figures are pretty relevant.
And it was not Elo that tells the opposition strength is not the same, but also opponent ATP ranking, and both figures tell exactly the same, so it is not the coincidence.
 
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Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
While this point that I am about to make has no connection with Sports, it has in connection with Bollywood (Hindi Cinema/Movies industry from India).

A weak era trend has been seen in Bollywood too ( Cc @Sunny Ali Sir ).


Decade of youngsters from the 70s ruled the 80s in Bollywood with a star called Amitabh Bachchan being the lead star, likewise young stars from 80s also had a good run in the 90s like Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor etc etc, then came young stars (3 Khans) from 90s who ruled 00s and are ruling Bollywood till date in 2021. This happened because young stars from 00s were untalented, all the scripts which were supposed to go them in their second decade when they were supposed to rule went to the gen before i.e 90s guys in the 2010s. Guys like Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and even Akshay Kumar have delivered massive hits in Bollywood in their 3rd decade while the generation below them struggled.

So this trend has been seen in hindi film industry as well, so why this happens we need to analyze, it is a very interesting thought really.
Brilliant post and analysis, Machan Sunny! 100% accurate and agree with it (y)
 

Thetouch

Professional
From an athletic point of view I would say yes. Guys like Medvedev, Thiem and Zverev are just on a higher physical level than Safin, Roddick, Haas, Black etc were. From a quality pov they might be even but again if you can beat guys in their 20s when you are in your mid 30s that's harder than being in your 20s as well and doing the same. But Federer has also beaten many of those guys in recent years so he deserves big credit for it as well.
 

Sunny014

Professional
From an athletic point of view I would say yes. Guys like Medvedev, Thiem and Zverev are just on a higher physical level than Safin, Roddick, Haas, Black etc were. From a quality pov they might be even but again if you can beat guys in their 20s when you are in your mid 30s that's harder than being in your 20s as well and doing the same. But Federer has also beaten many of those guys in recent years so he deserves big credit for it as well.
Thiem and co play with these big racquets and on these slow courts making them look stronger but then that is not true, Safin and Roddick were more powerful that him, Roddick serve and forehand in the 03-05 period used to zoom past guys faster than the blink of an eye.
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
Thiem and co play with these big racquets and on these slow courts making them look stronger but then that is not true, Safin and Roddick were more powerful that him, Roddick serve and forehand in the 03-05 period used to zoom past guys faster than the blink of an eye.
Machan ... Roddick had a powerful forehand. Nobody is disputing that. The problem was that he completely lacked game craft, often hitting the forehand as hard as he could with no regard to where his opponent was or where he himself was. Look at Boris Becker and how he positioned himself and the ball. There is no comparison between Becker and Roddick. One was a grass court wizard, the other had a good serve and forehand and 0 court awareness. That was Roddick's main problem Machi.
 

Sunny014

Professional
Machan ... Roddick had a powerful forehand. Nobody is disputing that. The problem was that he completely lacked game craft, often hitting the forehand as hard as he could with no regard to where his opponent was or where he himself was. Look at Boris Becker and how he positioned himself and the ball. There is no comparison between Becker and Roddick. One was a grass court wizard, the other had a good serve and forehand and 0 court awareness. That was Roddick's main problem Machi.
Of course Becker was better than Roddick, no comparison.

But Roddick is better than all these jokers Novak defeated, including Murray, Roddick at his best is the 4th best player on Grass in the last 20 years after the big 3

Federer > Djoker > Nadal > Roddick > Murray > Others
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
Of course Becker was better than Roddick, no comparison.

But Roddick is better than all these jokers Novak defeated, including Murray, Roddick at his best is the 4th best player on Grass in the last 20 years after the big 3

Federer > Djoker > Nadal > Roddick > Murray > Others
Machan, you're calling a 3 time runner-up better than a 2 time Wimbledon champion? :-D Come on Machi, you can do better than that. Murray is a significantly superior grass and hard court player over Roddick. Murray had an excellent tennis IQ. He didn't just hit the ball as hard as he could.

Also let's not forget that he did something that Federer could not in 3 attempts- beat Djokovic in a Wimbledon final.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Machan, you're calling a 3 time runner-up better than a 2 time Wimbledon champion? :-D Come on Machi, you can do better than that. Murray is a significantly superior grass and hard court player over Roddick. Murray had an excellent tennis IQ. He didn't just hit the ball as hard as he could.

Also let's not forget that he did something that Federer could not in 3 attempts- beat Djokovic in a Wimbledon final.
If only Fed would have the great fortune to face that version of Djokovic in a Wimbledon final.
 

ElisRF

Rookie
Machan, you're calling a 3 time runner-up better than a 2 time Wimbledon champion? :-D Come on Machi, you can do better than that. Murray is a significantly superior grass and hard court player over Roddick. Murray had an excellent tennis IQ. He didn't just hit the ball as hard as he could.

Also let's not forget that he did something that Federer could not in 3 attempts- beat Djokovic in a Wimbledon final.
Murray is greater but in terms of playing level you could make a case for Roddick on grass over Murray.
 

Sunny014

Professional
Machan, you're calling a 3 time runner-up better than a 2 time Wimbledon champion? :-D Come on Machi, you can do better than that. Murray is a significantly superior grass and hard court player over Roddick. Murray had an excellent tennis IQ. He didn't just hit the ball as hard as he could.

Also let's not forget that he did something that Federer could not in 3 attempts- beat Djokovic in a Wimbledon final.
Yes. That 2 times wimbledon champion is not upto the mark at peak levels .... Murray is NOTHING.

Now don't give foolish arguments like beaten by djokovic in 3 attempts thing, Federer is Djokovic's daddy on Grass, just because he was old and lost some close finals doesnt mean ****.....
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
If only Fed would have the great fortune to face that version of Djokovic in a Wimbledon final.
Well I'm tempted to agree with you but that would be injustice to Murray who's an excellent grass court player and a great player in general. We must be open to the possibility that Djokovic played that way because he couldn't keep with the form that Murray brought to the court that day.

Very much like Agassi in the 1999 Wimbledon final against Sampras. It must be noted that Agassi reached the final playing superb tennis and was given a good chance in the final by many experts. The result- he didn't win a single set! Did he play bad? Not by any stretch of imagination. Sampras played other-worldly grass court tennis and when that happens, nothing you can do about it.

We must give the same benefit to Murray. Djokovic didn't play bad, he just got outplayed.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
Well I'm tempted to agree with you but that would be injustice to Murray who's an excellent grass court player and a great player in general. We must be open to the possibility that Djokovic played that way because he couldn't keep with the form that Murray brought to the court that day.

Very much like Agassi in the 1999 Wimbledon final against Sampras. It must be noted that Agassi reached the final playing superb tennis and was given a good chance in the final by many experts. The result- he didn't win a single set! Did he play bad? Not by any stretch of imagination. Sampras played other-worldly grass court tennis and when that happens, nothing you can do about it.

We must give the same benefit to Murray. Djokovic didn't play bad, he just got outplayed.
Except PETE was actually GOATing in the 1999 Wimby final. Murray in the 2013 final didn't do much different from the 2012 final at all. The difference was clearly the opponent.
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
Yes. That 2 times wimbledon champion is not upto the mark at peak levels .... Murray is NOTHING.

Now don't give foolish arguments like beaten by djokovic in 3 attempts thing, Federer is Djokovic's daddy on Grass, just because he was old and lost some close finals doesnt mean ****.....
Murray is nothing? He's won the same number of Wimbledon titles as Nadal & Edberg! Get a grip Machan, seriously!

Federer is Djokovic's daddy on grass? :rolleyes:
 

steenkash

Professional
Before 2011, Novak had 1 Grand slam, Nadal had 9 and Federer had 16, people thought Nadal and Federer would battle it out to the first to 30, as they were the top two players in the world. Novak now has 18 GS and the most successful player in the 2010s, he had to chase Fedal and fend off competition from Murray, and to a lesser extend Warwinka. Based on the opponents he had to contend against, easily Novak had the harder competition.
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
Except PETE was actually GOATing in the 1999 Wimby final. Murray in the 2013 final didn't do much different from the 2012 final at all. The difference was clearly the opponent.
Machan, don't get me wrong. nothing personal with this question but what's with you Federer fans? Don't you ever give credit to the winner unless his name is Federer? Murray was the better player and deserved to win and I say this as a huge Djokovic fan. Was someone holding a gun to Djokovic's head forcing him to play subpar?
 

Sunny Ali

Hall of Fame
He pushed Federer harder at Wimbeldon.
That's hardly a measuring yardstick. This is the first time I'm reading that a 0-time Wimbledon champ is better than a 2 time champ because he pushed another player harder. I'm certain you won't find much backing, if any, for your claim outside of the Federer fan circle.
 
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